Dharamsala, Mar. 10 (ANI): Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama offered prayers in Dharamsala on Wednesday to mark the 51st anniversary of Tibetans' aborted uprising against the Chinese rulers.
Dressed in his traditional maroon and yellow robes, the Dalai Lama prayed for the souls of those who had died fighting for the Tibetan cause and praised those who continued their struggle against the Chinese in Tibet.
"On this occasion, I pay homage to those heroic Tibetan men and women, who sacrificed their lives for the cause of Tibet, and pray for an early end to the sufferings of those still oppressed in Tibet," the Dalai Lama said on the occasion.
"Despite the great hardships Tibetans have faced for many decades, they have been able to keep up their courage and determination, preserve their compassionate culture and maintain their unique identity."
"It is inspiring that today a new generation of Tibetans continues to keep Tibet's just cause alive. I salute the courage of those Tibetans still enduring fear and oppression," said Dalai Lama," he added.
Thousands of Tibetan exiles, including Buddhist monks and nuns, along with foreign sympathisers gathered in the famous Tsuglagkhang temple to commemorate the event.
"This uprising was mainly to say that Chinese rule in Tibet was unjust and we wanted China to withdraw its troops from Tibet. So, since then Tibet is commemorating this important anniversary. The struggle of the people is to seek greater freedom for the people in Tibet," said Thubten Samphel, spokesperson of Tibetan Government In-Exile.
Protests led by Buddhist monks against Chinese rule in March 2008 gave way to torrid violence, with rioters torching shops and turning on residents, including Han Chinese and Hui Muslims.
Tibetans see Hans as intruders threatening their culture.
At least 19 people died in the 2008 unrest, which sparked waves of protest across Tibetan areas ahead of the Beijing Olympics.
Pro-Tibet groups abroad say more than 200 Tibetans have died in a subsequent crackdown across the region. (ANI)